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Microsoft fell so far behind Google in the search engine market because it failed to retrieve relevant results for a long line of less popular queries, a senior Microsoft executive told the crowd at the Search Engine Strategies show here March 25.
Such was the key reason Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of the Online Audience Group for Microsoft Bing, offered for why Google is light-years ahead of Microsoft in the search market. Google commands 65 percent of the U.S. share search market, compared with 11.5 percent for Microsoft Bing.
Mehdi, responding to a keynote host's observation that Microsoft was late to the Internet and search, said, "We missed the boat early on that the focus was about the long tail. We actually focused a lot on the head of the queries. ... It turned out the long tail was much more important."
Although longtail terms are only a fraction of terms in the head, the majority of searches are in the longtail.